The SNL Film We Were Spared

May 19, 2010


Aside from a few notable exceptions (the Wayne's World films, and I can't remember, was Stuart Saves His Family OK?), the library of films adapted from SNL sketches is by and large a collection of films that are either forgotten or remembered for being the most poorly thought-out extensions of a brief-yet-popular scenario since Domino's Yo! Noid game. We have yet to see how MacGruber pans out, and we were thankfully spared a film about Will Ferrell as a peppy cheerleader, but holy shit, did you realize we almost got a "Da Bears" Chicago Superfans movie written by Robert Smigel and Bob Odenkirk in the mid-'90s? They're going to be reading the completed script at Chicago's Just for Laughs comedy festival:

"Da Bears Movie Dat Wasn't" will be a live reading — by George Wendt, Joe Mantegna, Robert Smigel, Bob Odenkirk, Richard Roeper (as a narrator) and Mike Ditka (as himself) — of a never-produced screenplay. Da plot? Da Bears are being sold, and beloved Soldier Field is being converted into luxury boxes for the rich.

Here's da thing: This really was a screenplay, written back in the mid-1990s by Smigel and Odenkirk for Paramount, based on characters from the "Saturday Night Live" sketch. It was never made. Tickets for the one-night-only reading June 19 at the Park West go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday at

"It's an expansion of the world of the Super Fans," Smigel said in an interview Tuesday. "We get to meet their families, their kids, their wives, go to church with them."

The writing pedigree intrigues me, but the thought of "meeting" George Wendt's Bears-loving family makes me emoticon frown. If anyone attends, let me know what this curious misfire had in store for us. How many times does the Chris Farley character dance?

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